|Minnesota State offensive coordinator|
Jason Eck is serving a guest coach at the
Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp.
In the case of Minnesota State offensive coordinator Jason Eck, however, we're going in a different direction.
Think of a little further west and much further north. Think Saskatchewan. And in terms of camping, forget the canoe, tent, trail mix and freeze-dried chicken. But be sure to bring along your whistle.
Eck, who joined the Mavericks prior to the start of the 2013 season and helped lead MSU to a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship and an 11-1 record, is serving as a guest coach at the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp in Saskatoon.
One of five guest coaches assisting the Roughriders, Eck is making his first trip to Saskatchewan.
"I had helped out at the Montreal Alouettes' camp in 2011 when Marc Trestman (current head coach of the Chicago Bears) was there. But this is my first time in working with the Roughriders," said Eck.
The camp, which is taking place at the University of Saskatchewan, runs from June 1 to June 13th. Saskatchewan is coming off a season in which it went 11-7 and claimed the Grey Cup as the CFL champions.
"The campus is really nice," said Eck. "It's a great set-up for camp with dormitories, dining hall, turf field, etc. It's a pretty city with a a river that runs through it," said Eck. "The people are great, the team has a tremendous following and there's alot of fans attending practice."
Working with the offensive linemen at the camp, Eck sees working with the Roughriders as not only a circumstance in which he can learn new techniques and hone his coaching skill set, but also one in which provides valuable networking opportunities.
"I received an invitation from head coach Cory Chamblin to come up here and hopefully this will allow me to be a better coach for the Mavericks. You hope to immerse yourself while you're here and I'm learning a lot from Doug Malone (Saskatchewan's offensive line coach)," said the University of Wisconsin grad. "There's ten coaches and around 90 players in camp and while some of the rules are different (with the CFL), working with offensive linemen with base fundamentals is the same where ever you go. And you never know. You're hoping to develop connections that will eventually, maybe, help us place our guys. There's lots of good Division II players in the CFL and we're always looking to help our guys however we can."
Eck expects to return to Mankato this weekend where he and the rest of the Minnesota State staff will get to work preparing for the 2014 campaign. Training camp for the Mavericks begins August 14th with the first game of the year scheduled for Sept. 4 vs. St. Cloud State in Mankato.
It's great to be a Maverick.